Finding The Essence of Your Message
This post comes from INK alumna Rachael Genson.
Here at INK, we offer our clients a multitude of services, one of which is media training. In a typical media training session, we help clients determine their essential message points, learn to communicate those messages in varied and simple ways, and make their best impression when speaking to the media.
Recently, I’ve been hard at work revamping INK’s media training presentation, and have come to a conclusion: Developing your message is, hands-down, the most important aspect of successful media training. Without a well fleshed out message, your spokesperson will have a difficult time communicating effectively with the media. Seems easy enough, right? Not so much. In our experience, this is often not the case. While companies have been able to develop messages, whittling that message down into just a few concise words poses more of a challenge, but one that is attainable.
Of course, we’d all love our message to be a carefully constructed paragraph, complete with a smattering of key words and phrases that highlight the benefits of our product/service/company. Unfortunately, in a media interview, the entire message never shows through, as media tend to pick and choose the aspects of the message that work best for their particular angle. In order to ensure that your message makes multiple appearances in any piece of coverage, it needs to be simplified – you need to find the essence of your message. To do that, come up with a few words – no more than five – that give a general description of what you are trying to communicate. These fives words, whether they form a phrase, like “world leader in digital security”, or are a mix of words, like “low cost, VoIP provider, easy-to-use”, will become the essence of your message.
Once that has been established, it’s time to practice integrating your message into each answer. Much as reporters dislike long, rambling company messages, they also dislike obvious repetition (plus it makes for a boring interview), and this is why finding your message’s essence is so important. Now, you can weave your message points into each answer, and essentially say the same thing over and over WITHOUT sounding like a broken record. Varying your responses while keeping your message consistent will likely lead to the coverage you are looking for – every time.
With that, start figuring out the essence of your message. Or better yet, let INK help you!